- Published: 15.07.2021.
Plenković in Bavaria: I see Europe less divided, more united and with more solidarity
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković attended a gathering of the German Christian Social Union (CSU) party in Kloster Seeon, Bavaria on Thursday, praising the political legacy of the outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel, "a great friend of Croatia".
The CSU is a sister party to Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The two parties are in a coalition with the Social Democrats and form the current German government. Merkel has served as Chancellor for 16 years, but will not run for another term in parliamentary elections scheduled for late September.
The CDU, Germany's largest political party, is now led by Armin Laschet, the Premier of North Rhein-Westphalia. He is also in Bavaria and is due to meet with Plenković.
"This is a very important political year for the European Union," Plenković told a press conference alongside Alexander Dobrindt, the chairman of the CSU faction in the Bundestag.
The two largest and most influential EU member states - France and Germany - are holding elections this year.
Merkel's departure "will certainly be a major change" for German and EU politics, Plenković said, thanking the outgoing Chancellor for everything she had done for Germany, Europe and the world. He described her as "a great friend of Croatia".
"She has been one of our greatest advocates, along with our friends from the CSU and CDU, helping us to first join NATO and then the EU. She is also a great supporter of Croatia's bid to join the Schengen area next year and the euro area in 2023," the Croatian PM said.
Merkel "has always been the one to solve problems. She was patient and the most experienced" of all European Council members, he added.
Plenković also praised Christian Schmidt, a CSU member with "great international experience" who has recently become the new High Representative of the international community to Bosnia and Herzegovina. He said he was looking forward to cooperating with Schmidt in seeking an agreement between political parties and institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina to ensure the reform of electoral legislation before elections in the autumn of 2022.